Thomas L. Sundown

June 30, 1946 — May 16, 2023

Our father, Thomas L. Sundown, passed away suddenly Tuesday, May 16, 2023, from a heart attack. Tom was born June 30, 1946, in Buffalo, N.Y., to Ruth Sundown. After facing many adversities in his childhood, our dad joined the U.S. Navy to build a better life for himself and his future family. He loved the Navy, and he proudly served 25 years at bases across the country before retiring as a Command Master Chief. During his naval career, he earned a bachelor of science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and went on to work 20 years at Boeing in Everett before retiring again in 2007.

 Throughout his life, our father dealt with the impact of racism. His Haudenosaunee heritage was central to his identity. He always wished and worked for peace for his people, the Cayuga Nation. He also sought opportunities to advocate for inclusion and equality in the workplace for all people. 

 Our father lived in Oak Harbor, Wash., for nearly 40 years. He loved living on Whidbey, but his favorite spot of all was the Gallery Golf Course. He enjoyed the friendships he made through golf, and he taught junior golf for many years to share the love of the sport with future generations. 

 Our father was married to our mother, Stella Margaret Szobonya Sundown, for 55 years. He is survived by our mother, four children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild, all of whom are grateful to have spent time on this earth with him and look forward to seeing him in the Sky World.

 Our father’s ashes will be interred at Tahoma National Cemetery June 13. We want to thank friends and family, for lifting up our family with prayers and well wishes.